It Sounds Like Joy

Ever notice how we human beings have ways of marking the passage of time? Sure, we have our calendars, our reminders, our clocks and gizmos. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious ways of marking time. The ways that mark time in subtle ways that leave you realizing after the fact how time has passed rather than noting it up front.

I am not a winter person. I like cool weather but I’m really a sunny, summer person. I mark my years mostly by noting the passage of the seasons. The months from January to the end of March are dreadful for me. In the region where I live winters are relatively mild, but temperatures can vary from a balmy 60 degrees one day to snowing and freezing levels the next. I find this pretty tough on my system. I’m always glad when Daylight Saving Time arrives. Even though I lose an hour, I can see that summer is on the way, and with it, some more consistent temperatures. Continue reading

If You’re Like Me

JGS_GirlReadingNewspaper_03 If you’re like me then you are a reader. 

You’re a reader of articles, of stories, of books and blogs. 

And…if  you’re like me…you don’t just read those articles, stories, books and blogs and cast them aside. No “out of sight out of mind” for you. 

If you’re like me you connect with those stories, articles and books, or, at least the ones you love, the ones that resonated with you, the ones that made you think, the ones you gave up moments of your life to pause and listen through the written word, to the voice of another. For a moment, if you’re like me, you enter the world by invitation of the author and you become one with that world.

If you’re like me you think about the characters.  No, you do more than think about them. With the help of the author you create them, breathe life into them, worry about them when you’re not reading them and you wonder about them as if the story could continue beyond the printed words the author wrote as if in some Inkspell-ish sort of way…if you’re like me. 

If you’re like me, you speculate about the people behind the pen.  Those creators of characters, those wielder of words, those visionaries who craft fantasy the way carpenters craft homes and artists their sculptures with such precision and intricate care.  You meditate after a fashion on these people who communicate so clearly and so deftly so invisibly. You think about them, about their lives, their loves, their sorrows, their existence, even if only for a fleeting moment and you wonder.  What kind of person would it take to write something like that?

If you’re like me you become, in a word, or maybe after many words attached to the invisible artists who’ve helped you create worlds, travel distances and experience lives you might never have known.  Or maybe, you do know the life of which they speak and you are all the more drawn to thjournal-writingem because the existence they share is your existence as well.  You know it.  You feel it.  You live it.  And someone chose the words to express it that you yourself could not and you are grateful. 

If you’re like me, then in  a small way, you may even come to love those invisible craftsmen who work their art in black on white, creating entire galaxies where only blank, dead, white space existed before.

If you’re like me,  you wonder what happens when suddenly nothing is heard from them again.  The end of a series of books, the last of the articles, a blog abandoned.  You wonder what happened in the life of that person that ended their existence in print so suddenly…if you’re like me.

If you’re like me, in those respects, and you’ve been reading along here at The Wild Mind  maybe you’ve noticed that where there used to be an almost daily account of distraction, there has been a strange and unusual (at least it has to be for The Wild Mind because look how long her posts usually are!) silence of late. If you’re like me, you would wonder what happenUnicornRetreat_2201[1] (2)ed in the real world to shut down the digital world of the person you’d grown somewhat attached to and were reading every so often. 

You would appreciate an explanation…if you are like me.  And you would hope that that explanation did not contain news of abandonment, because if you are like me abandonment in all its many forms never goes over well.  If you’re like me you even hate it when your favorite TV series gets cancelled.  You hated it when you finally finished the Harry Potter Series and you hated it when the Lord of the Rings movies were done. You knew it was the end of the story but somehow you wondered, was it also the end of the author?

You might wonder these things…if you’re like me.

Have You Ever Noticed?

Okay, so I’m kind of going through a list making phase as prompts for my creative thinking ventures.  The list of the day for me is…

Have You Ever Noticed….

…how if a guy is really into something say football or biking or quads or Nascar and a girl is really into that guy she’ll try to get into whatever he’s into but it doesn’t usually work the other way around?

…how it used to be looked down on to be a stay-at-home mom and now if a woman makes that choice it is more accepted?

…how when you’re in a funk you have to spend some time dealing with it and many times after the funk is over you regret the time you wasted?

…how life can turn on a dime?  Things are rolling right along quite nicely, then the smallest thing happens and it feels like you’ve been thrown into a brick wall at a 100 miles an hour with no protective gear.

…how socks go into the laundry with a perfect match but come out as a single.  Moral of this story?  Lovers should never do laundry together.

…how you can show a kid how to do something a million times and they never get it right…till they move out on their own and get their own place, then suddenly they understand how to do it perfectly.

…how the garbage man has a great job?  He gets to drive around in the big cushy truck all day, never touching the garbage, he gets paid good money and he doesn’t have to take work home with him.

…how most single working moms wish they had a wife who would cook dinner for them and help with the bedtime and bath routine and taxi jobs at the end of the day?

…how when you go to a new medical care provider filling out the form once is not enough, they then have to get a copy of the form, and then you have to go to the inner office where they punch all the same stuff into the computer again. And forget about if you are referred to another provider!

…how kids think they can convince you they aren’t lying by vehemently defending their untruth even though you saw with your own eyes otherwise.  “I didn’t hit her!”  “Uh, excuse me?  I just saw your fist windup and let ‘er fly and land right in her arm!” 

…how you never really crave a particular food (like bread or  pasta) till you decide to cut back on it, then you can’t get enough of it and this is before you’ve even actually started cutting back?!

…how lists like this can be really fun or really tedious or both.  Guess that must mean it is time to end this one…unless, of course…you have something to add?

Where Do We Go When We Go From Here?

Do you ever stop to think what happens to you when you leave this place, when you breathe your last, when you finally, due to the failure of vital bodily systems to keep pumping blood, pushing air and firing synapses, cease to exist in this physical world we call Life?

Do you think a person with thoughts, energy, vibrant enthusiasm, humor, intelligence, emotion, passion and spirit ceases to completely exist altogether or do we simply continue our existence elsewhere in a different realm or a further, deeper, greater dimension?

Do we really become food for worms, mulch for the cemetery garden, dust returning to dust?

Or is there more, another reality, an eternal existence and, if so, have you ever pondered the nature of such an existence?

What have you wondered when you’ve wandered in off the busy, hectic, chaotic activity of your life filled days just long enough to find some silence, a bit of solitude and a nagging question that irrespective of religious leanings must sneak in sometimes if ever so fleetingly?

Have you ever stopped, silenced your soul, your spirit, yourself long enough to entertain the little question, “Where do we go when we go from here?

“The Last Hose Supplier You’ll Ever Need” Responds to My Inquiries

Well, take a look at this!  I’ve received a response from that Online Hose Supplier that I mentioned a post or two back.  To see the earlier correspondences you will have to just scroll through the earlier posts.  I’m too tired and lazy to link them, sorry.  Here’s what that overseas supplier responded with:

Once again I thank you for your inquiry about the range of hoses that may suit your somewhat unique requirements.

Unfortunately I am unable to provide you with pictures of the hose and fittings I referred to in my last correspondance but I can assure you it is unlike any of the previously used hoses you’ve described. I don’t mean to be critical but I think that ,in the past, you have chosen lesser quality and much less reliable equipment than your quite specific requirements deserve.

As a sign of good faith, and to sate your curiosity, I have taken the liberty of arranging for a free 2 week trial of a second hand sample of the product and its associated attachements. Once I have received Customs clearance I will endeavour to ship these to your home address.

As the items mentioned are not new I trust you will handle all items with care.

Please do not hesitate to contact the writer should you require anything further.

He is, it seems, being honest and straightforward about the condition of the hose.  At least he admits the hose is not new.  That’s okay, since new hoses are incompatible with my pump.  My pump is an older model, still in excellent condition, requires little mechanical maintenace, and performs better than many of the newer models, however, the newer hoses just don’t seem to have the staying power my pump requires.  THS is also willing to provide a two week free trial.  He must be confident of his product or his salesmanship, or maybe both.

This brings up a few questions though.  Like, how free is free?  What is the small print?  Better yet, is there anything written in invisible ink I should be aware of?  What I’m most curious about is the “associated attachments”.  Sounds like there might be more to the bargain than a mere hose.

Online Hose Suppliers or Snake Oil Salesmen?

Kip commented on my last post about Online Hose Suppliers and he cautioned me to be very careful.  His comments were valid and my responses lengthy enough that I figured they’d make a decent little post on their own. 

Here is what Kip said in his comment on my last post:

Be wary of would-be hose suppliers who promise the moon; they tend to be in the same class as snake oil salesmen. And let’s face it, they can tell you anything and show you any kind of pictures they want on the internet. There are some things you just shouldn’t purchase online, and this is one of them. You need to see that hose in the flesh and hold it in your hand, make sure it connects properly and produces a healthy flow when turned on. As they say: think globally but act locally! The hose you need may be in your own backyard. So get out there and find it: examine it well, hook it up and turn it on! Don’t despair that you haven’t found it yet. If you have faith in it, it will come!

 And, now my response:

I’m not certain that purchasing something like this online is necessarily a bad deal, though it would require certain additional considerations and many, many precautions.  I would never purchase a hose sight unseen.  I would insist on the opportunity to see the hose, hold the hose and try all the appropriate functions to ensure the hose and my pump fit well together.

 If the hose I needed were in my own backyard, I’d be happily swimming in my blissful pool rather than looking for a quality hose!  I can assure you that there really are no quality hose suppliers in my area and I’ve been diligent in seeking them out.  You see the emphasis here is on quality.  I believe the inner construction and the make up of the hose will determine its usefulness and effectiveness in working with my pump over the long haul.  Most hose dealers are supplying hoses that are poorly constructed, made of weak or brittle materials, not long enough or are simply not the right kind of hose for the job.  After all, if I’m looking for a hose to attach my pool to my pump, I’m not going to use a garden hose.  Garden hoses are not bad and they definitely serve their purpose, but it simply isn’t the kind of hose I’m looking for.  Further, you’d be surprised to find out how many local suppliers post a picture of a hose that looks serviceable but then when I go to visit them to see the hose, they present me with a worn, damaged, dirty and defective item.  It is disappointing, tiring and I’m not wasting time with any of that!  So, I continue on with my search for the best hose for my pump.

 As for the getting out there and finding it?  Well, I’ve worked tirelessly at this project for some time now.  I’m quite willing to do the legwork required to examine the hoses thoroughly, hook them up, and turn them on.  It is upon closer examination (before even hooking up)  that I usually find defects, flaws, ways that the hose would be incompatible with my pump.  When these concerns in hose viability arise, it seems foolish for me to go the next step of hooking up the hose and turning it on.  Why waste my time trying to make a hose work when it isn’t a good hose or the right hose?  No, I need to be able to see that the hose is the right hose before the hook up and turning on.  Once I take that hose home, I can’t expect it to become a different hose.  I can’t just see a brand new hose, hook it up and turn it on and hope it works. I just don’t shop that way.  I prefer to do my research on each hose carefully and thoughtfully first.  Salesmen hate me because I ask a lot of questions and can determine fairly quickly where the inconsistencies lie and where the defects in the hose will be.  When I do find that special hose, then and only then will I consider hooking it up and turning it on.  After all, not just any hose will do for my pump.  I want the best hose!  I’m willing to pay well for it, travel the earth shopping for it, and when I get it home I will care for and maintain it well because I really hate hose shopping.

Summer Preparations–Lessons Learned

filter9The Wild Mind has been busy the last four days working on getting ready for summer.  This readiness involves dealing with the contraption you see here.  No, it is not the latest model sex toy (wait, maybe it could be with just a little improvisation).This is a pool filter.  It connects to the pool by various hoses similar to the one you see in the picture.  There is a hose for outgoing water and a hose that takes in water from the pool to be filtered.  My contraption is old.  The hoses have not been replaced since I purchased the thing.  The contraption and it’s hoses get a great deal of use too, so it is critical that everything is in proper working order.  This morning (at times I can be a morning person) when I hooked up the contraption to the pool the hose that connects the skimmer to the pool kept breaking off.  In fact, it broke off so many times that by the time I actually started the pump up, it burst again, dousing me.  It was now too short to do it’s job properly.  There is also another hose on this contraption (wouldn’t you like to have two hoses for just such an emergency?). This second hose connects the pool to the filter (that big bulbous part of the contraption) .  This hose was far longer and more flexible than the hose that was splitting and breaking off.  I switched the hoses, the pump works beautifully, however that old hose is still an old hose and will within a very short time begin cracking and breaking off from the pool again.  This old hose segment needs to be replaced soon.

Six lessons learned for The Wild Mind: (no, I did not say “Sex Lessons Learned by The Wild Mind! Sheesh!)

1.  Old hoses will eventually need to be replaced when they are unable to perform the task they were designed for.

2.  Old hoses that remain long and flexible are far more useful for a far longer period of time.

3.  Old hoses that break off and become too short are worthless.

4. Hoses that spray stuff everywhere except the appropriate destination are annoying!

5.  Maybe there are times when having a spare hose around is a good thing?

6.  The Wild Mind really, seriously needs a new hose!  (Wait, I think anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time has already figured that out!)

Now where to find a decent, lengthy, flexible hose that will go the distance even after a tremendous amount of use?  Hmmmm.

What Type Of Mr. Right?

lunchI was out with a friend the other day for lunch.  She was sharing pictures of the home she and her husband just purchased and are fixing up.  As she showed me the pictures on her iPhone, I was impressed with the before and after scenes and how much work they’ve done in such a short time.  When I questioned her about how she and her husband accomplished it all, I received a wonderful loving description of her husband and all the things he did seemingly effortlessly on this home.  She concluded her praise of him with the words, “He totally puts Husband For Hire to shame!”  I thought this was especially touching since these two are past the honeymoon stage, have been together over 7 years, and are very much still “in love”. 

 Her words got me thinking.

First, the relationship she has with her husband is a rare thing.  In many ways, what she and her husband model for me (generally, not necessarily specifically) what I hope to have.  The key thing they share is a deep, abiding, mutual admiration and respect and love for each other.  They also both have their independent lives. 

Further, as a single mom who has no skills in home repair and who has no money to hire it done, I know how valuable a man with home repair skills is.  I also realize that there are many valuable ways people can contribute to a significant relationship. I was originally going to title this post “Two Kinds of Men” because I was thinking of the handyman and the guy who is not handy, but the more I considered the topic the more I realized there are more than just two kinds of men and far more than two ways to contribute to a relationship.  For fun, I came up with a few categories using broad brush strokes, I admit, that men can fall into.  You may be able to think of more.  In fact, I hope you do.  Leave your ideas in a comment or write your own post and link to me. That would be great fun!   Don’t worry, peeps.  I am working on a post about different types of women too,  but since men interest me more than women do, it was easier to start here.  ;)Enjoy!

therepairman 1.  The Handy Man.  This guy can fix, build or renovate anything.  You’ll never need to hire a repairman because even if you did The Handy Man could do it better and for less.  He has all the tools and knows how to use them.  If you find a guy like this, you’ll be able to have the home improvement jobs completed to your specifications every time.  You might have to get used to some unfinished projects around the house as the norm rather than the exception. This kind of guy is amazing and if you find yourself with someone like this, spoil him immensely.  He will build you a mansion of love from his own bare hands.

The Manager 2.  The Manager.  This guy isn’t handy, but he isn’t okay with things being in disrepair either.  He’s a conscientious sort who is willing to part with some money on occasion to make sure everything is looking great and in perfect working condition.  He makes enough money to be able to pay to put in that slider out the master bedroom onto that redwood deck with a pergola and a hot tub which he also paid to have done. He is too busy making money so he can keep his love and his family in the manner in which he is proud to keep them.  While he won’t hang the Christmas tree lights, he won’t leave it to his wife to do it.  He’ll hire the Christmas Tree Light Hanger Person to come and make sure that every little light is perfectly spaced and straight and lit. If you find yourself with a guy like this, you are just as fortunate as if you were with The Handy Man.  Guy Who Can Hire It Done is so responsible that he won’t let you down.  He’s so detail oriented that he won’t let whoever he hires get by with doing a sloppy job.  If you are with him, spoil him.  He is proud of what he can give and do for you and the family.  Appreciate it all and it will come back to you in spades or probably diamonds.

Wayne's World 3.  The Non Man.  The Non Man cannot do home repairs, he doesn’t make enough to make sure that the repairs are kept up around the house by a repairman and he doesn’t care. He’s a fun person, lives for the moment and could care less about responsibility. He’s great in bed, keeps his body in shape and looks and acts eternally 35 even though he may have left his 50’s behind long ago. If he has a job, it’s his 15th one in the last three years. He leaves all the heavy serious stuff of finances, home repair, cooking, laundry and yard work to his significant other or his mother to deal with, stress about and lose her health over. After all, he has to play World of Warcraft. If  you meet this man, move on quickly.  The sex will be great, but the rest of the time you’ll just be babysitting.

personal_chef 4.  The Chef.  Highly sought after by career women these days, this guy is just a bit overrated. This kind of guy probably gets invited to a lot of potlucks and has a lot of friends due to his culinary skills, however, cooking a great meal every night is not as useful a skill as being good at the home repairs.  After all, and I do speak from experience here, screwing up a really good meal is far easier to recover from financially than replacing that wall that was supposed to be a weight bearing wall and should never have been removed in the first place.  So, if all he brings to the table are his culinary skills, maybe you should look further.

The Partner5.  The Partner.  This man is golden.  He’s also a rare find. He is intelligent, capable, resourceful, has good table manners and uses good grammar when speaking and writing.  He’s smart enough to know not to belch at the dinner table, knows which fork to use in a nice restaurant and leaves the seat down for The Other Partner.  He’s a fully vested partner in the firm called Relationship. He doesn’t shirk responsibility, he has people skills, knows how to negotiate the differences in order to reach conclusions that work in the best interests of the other Partner and stakeholders in The Firm.  If he can’t fix it himself, he knows just the right person for the job and will make sure it gets done. He does what he says he will do and doesn’t make commitments he can’t keep.  He’s confident, not needy, won’t play games but will tell you exactly where he stands. When in corporate meetings he doesn’t seek to force his views or goals on others, but instead seeks to influence or persuade while fully allowing the other parties to make their own choices even though he might be very passionate about his own perspectives. He provides information and options instead of coercing. The Partner, while, intelligent, confident and capable, realizes that The Firm he is vested in is a collaborative team venture and not a top down organization where all the decisions run through the senior partner without consideration of the other entities involved.  He works hard and is fully committed to his own success as well as the success of The Firm and others he partners with.  He’s not a workaholic but recognizes that in order to be the best Partner he can be, he must take care of himself too. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself as a Partner in a Firm with a man like this stay with the Firm and work collaboratively with this man and you’ll be golden too!

You Know The Honeymoon Is Over When…

Seriously, you know the honeymoon is over when life with your significant other begins to feel less like fireworks and more like you have a “Bear In There”.

Bear In There by Shel Silverstein

There’s a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire–
He likes it ’cause it’s cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He’s nibbling the noodles,
He’s munching the rice,
He’s slurping the soda,
He’s licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he’s in there–
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

Just something to think about.  🙂  There are so many places I could go with this, but I’ll just let you think about it…for now.  😉

Insomnia–In Six Sentences or Less, More or Less

Wide awake while everyone else is sound asleep.

Tossing and turning, physically and mentally, I get up to get a drink of water and turn on the computer.

I should read a book instead since the computer won’t help me sleep and reading a book in bed is warmer.

I could have used a really wild, blow-your-brains out party last night. 

Not really.

I don’t party, I’m not like that, but I could have used something last night or early this morning or right now.

 

Or…how about this…

 

Silence greets me in the still morning hours.

Everyone slumbers while I lie awake tossing, turning, unable to doze.

Getting up, I choose the computer instead of a book, I need to post something here today anyway.

I approve some comments, play with words, begin to feel that sweet drowsy feeling creep forward from behind my eyes.

I’m going back to bed.

Last one there’s a rotten egg!!!! 😉